September sees the end of Barnsley’s consultation on a new Selective Licensing Scheme. The consultation comes to an end Sunday 24th September.
Selective Licensing was introduced under the Housing Act 2004. The Housing Act 2004 says that before introducing selective licensing to any area local Councils must consult with all affected people, such as tenants, residents, landlords, managing agents, businesses, Police, Fire Service, local Councillors etc.
Selective Licensing applies to all private rented sector houses that are not licensed under HMO licensing, this includes non licensable HMOs. An area may be designated for selective licensing either (i) if the area is (or is likely to be) an area of low housing demand or (ii) the area is experiencing a significant and persistent problem caused by anti social behaviour that local authorities attribute to private sector landlords failing to take action to combat against unruly tenants. A designation can last up to five years.
Alongside the licence fees, landlords will also have to declare that they are a fit and proper person to hold a licence and holders of the licence will be required to comply with licensing conditions, some of which are mandatorily imposed by the Housing Act, and local licensing conditions from the council itself.
The areas the council is proposing to introduce this scheme is:
- Elsecar – Welland Crescent
- Goldthorpe – Beever Street, Victoria Street, Cross Street, Cooperative Street and Claycliffe Terrace
- Measbrough Dyke – Pindar Street, Sunderland Terrace, Seth Terrace, Osbourne Street, Evelyn Terrace, Ivy Terrace, Burton Terrace, Junction Street and Terrace, Jubliee Terrace, Victor Terrace, Doncaster Road (174-278) and King Georges Terrace.
- Wombwell – John St, Mount Terrace and William street, Blythe Street, Main Street, Bond Street, Myrtle Road, Victoria Road, York Street, Frederick Street, Princess Street, Bartholomew Street, Barnsley Road (1-99), West Street, Western Terrace and School Street
The fee for a single let property licence in a these designated areas is £530 per property. The local authority has proposed a discount of £100 to BMBC Accredited Landlords and an early application discount of only £20.
There are 6 mandatory conditions of a Selective Licensing Scheme which are set by the Housing Act 2006. Barnsley has opted to set an additional 11 conditions, relating to electrical and fire safety, terms of occupation, property repairs, energy efficiency, number of occupiers, external property standards, refuse and waste, ASB, fit and proper landlords, and compliance and cooperation with the authority.
These conditions can be read in full in Appendix 4, page 38 of the full consultation document, here. Within the RLA’s response I will raise issue with conditions number 10, 13, 14, 15 and 16. Many of these conditions attempt to blame landlords for the choices and personal behavior of their tenants, issues including overcrowding, the condition of external areas, and refuse and waste disposal are issues the landlord cannot monitor or control.
The RLA makes an official response to all local consultations, opposing the introduction of licensing schemes. All of our consultation responses can be read here, local authorities will accept responses to their consultation in email or letter form, alongside answering the questionnaires provided on their websites. Please feel free to use these letters as a template for your own responses, if you have any queries about how to respond to a consultation please do not hesitate to get in touch.
For the full details on the consultation, including the full consultation documents, FAQs, and a questionnaire landlords can use to give their feedback on the proposal, visit the Council’s page here.
To keep up to date with news, events, and licensing in Barnsley visit our Local Authority Network here.